Skip to main content

IKEA Guide


Different rug types

Rugs not only make a space more comfortable but also lend it character. They are effectively pieces of art that you display on the floor rather than on a wall. At home, they can be used to create cosy living spaces or even to connect different spaces with one another. IKEA rugs may not be able to fly… but these incredibly versatile items are capable of conjuring up even more design and style points for your home in a flash. They’re also practical: they keep your feet feeling warm and cosy, collect dust, and act as heat and sound insulation. So there are a whole host of reasons to roll out the red carpet, as it were, for rugs in our IKEA Rugs Guide. You’ll learn all about the different rug types that are available, how these are manufactured, how you can make rugs even safer to use and how you can keep them in top condition for as long as possible. This way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a rug for your home.

High-pile rugs

What actually is “pile” in this context? The technical answer: in textiles, this is the name for the system of threads in rugs that runs perpendicular to the surface. So, essentially, this is what gives a rug its cosy feel. High-pile rugs have a pile height of at least 1.5 centimetres, while rugs with a pile height lower than this are referred to as low-pile rugs. And here’s some more information about high-pile rugs for you that you might find interesting: High pile is very soft and feels beautifully cosy against your feet. High-pile rugs are also sound-absorbing, particularly when it comes to absorbing the sound of footsteps. So they can provide real peace of mind in your children’s room, for example. High-pile rugs are also well suited to modern layering: you can line them up next to one another to create one larger rug. Due to the high pile, the rugs mostly come in stylish designs without any unusual patterns. And the length of the pile also makes it practically impossible to see where one rug ends and another begins.

Low-pile rugs

You guessed it: low-pile rugs are what we call rugs with a pile height of less than 1.5 centimetres. These rugs offer you the widest and most stylish range of patterns and designs. From floral or oriental rugs to modern geometric ones: thanks to the short pile, every design is shown off to its best advantage. Low-pile rugs too offer footstep sound insulation and a soft and warm place to rest your feet. But since they’re not as fluffy or as cosy as high-pile rugs, they are easier to keep clean and generally also lighter. Low pile is also more durable and therefore ideal in areas where you can expect a higher footfall.


Runners are rugs with particular dimensions to them: they are very narrow and also longer than conventional rugs. They can be either high or low pile, and are best suited to narrow spaces, hallways, corridors and floorboards. A more durable low-pile runner will immediately add comfort and colour to your entranceway or staircase, for example. A high-pile runner, on the other hand, is great to have right by your bed – so it’s the first thing your feet touch when you get up in the morning.

Sheepskins and cowhides

Entirely natural, with no knotting required – sheepskins and cowhides are soft against your feet. Whether by the fireplace, in your bedroom or as a spot to lounge in your living room, sheepskins and cowhides are a great natural alternative to traditional rugs. Another way to make your space even cosier is by using them as a cosy throw on a stool or armchair. Sheepskins and cowhides are durable and robust. They can also be quite easily cut to size if needed.

Outdoor rugs

A weather-resistant rug is a way to instantly make your terrace or balcony feel like your living room, only outdoors. IKEA outdoor rugs can be used to make going barefoot a safer option, or to catch dirt and dust before it can be tracked indoors. A rug can make your outdoor space look much more interesting, whether that’s in the garden or on the balcony. So why not create a touch more homeliness out in the fresh air with an outdoor rug?

The different ways in which rugs are manufactured

Weaving, knotting or tufting? That is the question. Get ready to uncover the three different rug manufacturing methods and how they differ from one another.

Knotted pile rugs

Are you already familiar with the king of carpets? Oriental rugs do indeed represent luxury that is fit for a king, premium works of art and grand traditions like practically no other. Oriental rugs are knotted pile rugs with a particular characteristic that sets them apart from other rugs: no other technique allows for patterns that are as playful and as skilfully executed as knotting. This process involves knotting short threads onto a rough weave. A task that requires real mastery – and for this reason is usually carried out by hand. If you’re looking for magnificent patterns and decorations, detailed colour gradients and something just that little bit special, you should take a look at knotted pile rugs. A tip when it comes to determining quality: the higher the density of the knots, the better the piece. An oriental rug enhances any space – and goes just as well with modern furnishings as with design classics and traditional styles.

Woven rugs

The oldest manufacturing method for rugs is weaving. Here, the “warp threads” are held stationary in tension in a lengthwise direction – the transverse “weft threads” can then be drawn through and inserted alternatingly over and under the warp threads. Patterns of great craftsmanship can be created simply by using different weft threads. Compared with knotting, weaving has a few limitations with respect to the design, but it scores highly in particular because of the extensive colours and vibrant patterns that are produced.

Tufting rugs

This is the most recent manufacturing method, and the most common worldwide: essentially, tufting is rug making through sewing. Threads are sewn into a primary base (such as a fleece) – the resulting loops on the surface are then either left as they are (loop pile) or cut (cut pile or velour rug). In this way, varying pile heights can be achieved, and a wide range of designs are possible. This kind of technique often uses a fully automated process – for you, this means a huge range of designs available for a reasonable price.

Rug underlay

No matter which IKEA rug you opt for, a quick word about safety before thinking about cosiness and comfort in your home. Particularly if your rug is going to be on a smooth surface, such as a stone floor or laminate flooring, the risk of your rug sliding around is very high. That’s why we always recommend anti-slip underlay for use with your rugs. There are different kinds of these underlay available at IKEA. These stop your rug from sliding around and ensure that it always lies flat. And it doesn’t just keep your rug in place when you walk on it. It also makes vacuuming much easier since the suction from the vacuum cleaner won’t cause the rug to move or wrinkle up. Another tip: Rug mats are anti-slip protection and a rug in one. They are best suited to anywhere with a high footfall – so are well worth considering for your cellar, the area in front of your garden door, or right by your front door.

Looking after and cleaning your rug

There’s an IKEA rug for every style and for every home. Have you found your favourite rug yet? So that you can keep this in good condition for a long time to come, here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to cleaning your rug: First, you should consider whether your rug is easy or difficult to move. If you are able to lift your rug with ease, there’ll be nothing stopping you from carrying out the first step in cleaning your rug: simply shaking it out or beating it outside in the garden. But if your rug is heavy and difficult to move, you should start off by vacuuming it. Which vacuum cleaner attachments or modes should ideally be used? Particularly for high pile, which is more high maintenance, you should use everything your vacuum cleaner has available to get hold of every last crumb or every last speck of dust. Tip: Always vacuum velour rugs with the grain in order to keep patterns looking as they should. Loop pile and high pile should be vacuumed without any brush attachment. For low pile, the vacuum cleaner’s brush function is usally enough to keep everything clean. All rugs should ideally be vacuumed on the top and on the bottom in order to keep them as clean as possible. Regularly and consistently vacuuming may sound like a lot of hard work, but doing so stops any dust and dirt from getting to a point where it is hard to remove. It may also be advisable to ventilate your rug every now and again. Finally, you should make sure to turn or rotate your rugs now and again If the sun reaches certain parts of your rug, it can fade more quickly in these areas. Rotating your rug can help to prevent this. And what about stains? The most important thing here is to remove any stains while they are still fresh. Only in this way can you prevent stains from penetrating deep into the fibres. Do not rub the stain, but rather absorb the liquid using an absorbent cloth (and always working from the outside in). If initial measures and home remedies are unsuccessful, there are still a few options available to you: wet cleaning, chemical cleaning agents or a professional carpet cleaning service. Just be careful and take colour fastness into consideration. Test cleaning agents on an inconspicuous spot first. Rugs should be damp when cleaning, but not wet through. When it comes to professional carpet cleaning services, it’s worth doing the research and asking friends and neighbours for their recommendations. With a trustworthy service, you’ll be on safe ground with a professional cleaning.